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Chrome is coming! Google’s open source browser project, is coming out in Windows beta. It will be available here soon. This comic by Scott McCloud, creator of the classic Understanding Comics, does a nice job of explaining the technical details. Here is a brief summary:
Extreme tab makeover: Instead of traditional tabs below the address bar (like Firefox), Chrome puts the tab buttons on the upper side of the window.
Multi-process design: This is said to use “a bit more memory up front” but it splits up the processing jobs of individual tabs. It’s similar to the design used in operating systems, with multiple processes happening at the same time. One advantage is that an error that would normally cause your whole browser to crash will now only crash that particular tab. Also, when web pages or plug-ins use a lot of memory, you can spot them in Chrome’s task manager.
Other streamlining: The browser has an address bar with auto-completion features (I am skeptical here, only because I have never used an implementation of auto-complete that wasn’t annoying). And when you open a new tab, instead of getting a blank page or your homepage, you will see your most visited webpages as 9 screenshot thumbnails. On the side, you will also see a couple of your recent searches and your recently bookmarked pages, as well as recently closed tabs. There are many other features, including a privacy mode, as well as anti-phishing and anti-malware safeguards that keep updating and warn against malicious sites.
Anyway, I’m excited to check out what I expect will be the next generation of web browsers. It’s nice to see that this is an open source project. It seems Google is betting big on the OSS (open source software) model. I think it will work. And I find it interesting how quietly Google goes about taking over… everything.